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APS Net Metering Grandfather

You may currently have solar panels installed on your home, or you may be looking to purchase a home that has solar panels already installed. What many buyers and sellers would like to know is if the APS net metering plan can be grandfathered in for the new buyer. In 2017 there were some changes made based on APS proposals for a new solar compensation model. Apparently, that went into effect back in January of 2017. Here is a summary of that proposal, some additional information to make note of, and what you can expect as either a homeowner selling or a buyer looking to purchase a home in Phoenix with an existing solar system installed. You can learn more about the APS service plan transition here.

  • There will be a drastic decrease in net metering. The net metering plan had previously offered customers credits for kilowatt per hour of extra energy that is pooled back into the grid as an energy resource for APS. These credits allow homeowners to substantially reduce their energy bills because of the way it is set up to offset costs. The rates fluctuate and may be different then what I provide here at the time of this article, but the current net-metering rate fluctuates between .12 cents and .15 cents per kilowatt hour. The retail net-metering rate was between $0.13 to $0.14 per kilowatt-hour. Unfortunately, the new proposed plan will be even less for anyone that signed up after the proposed plan went into effect in 2017. That means any homeowners that are thinking about leasing solar in 2018 will be part of the new adjusted rate plan.
  • If you were a homeowner that had solar panels and used APS for energy and filed an interconnection application before July of 2017 you would have been grandfathered into the previous rate plan for a term of 20 years. This 20-year plan is built around the date that the solar panels were connected to the Arizona grid. Those systems were grandfathered 20 years from that date. The grandfathered systems are tied to the property and not the current homeowner. This is why anyone selling solar real estate could see an increase in property value if the home is sold within that 20 year period, providing the new homeowners with the cost-saving benefits of solar energy as per the original metering rate.
  • For homeowners that locked in their rates after July of 2017, those homeowners will only be approved for a 10-year grandfathering.  Whereas the homeowners that were previously locked in will benefit from the 20-year plan. Future solar leases and metering plans will only be allowed to lock in rated for 10 year periods.
  • For those of you that are currently grandfathered into the 20-year plan, be cautious of upgrades and maintenance as there is the potential that these changes made to the system could void your rate plan. That plan applies to all homeowners that signed up prior to July of 2017 and is only valid if the system remains the same and continues to be installed on the original property it was purchased for. Existing homeowners with solar and potential homeowners looking to purchase solar property in the Phoenix area should be aware of the metering rates and the dates that impact them.
  • Peak hour pricing for all APS customers. APS will be introducing a demand-based fee structure that will be included on the billing reports every month. This pricing structure will begin to add new charges that will be assessed from your peak energy usage monthly over a 60-minute time frame that has the highest energy demand. Demand-based pricing adds a new charge that is assessed from your highest, 60-minute window of energy use every month. APS will be implementing this for solar and non-solar customers, and everyone will see an increase on their monthly bills. Even with this new pricing structure, solar users will continue to see savings across the board and this shouldn’t be a deterrent from going solar or purchasing a solar equipped home in Arizona.
  • Currently, the APS peak hours are from 12 noon to 7 pm weekdays, but APS is trying to change those peak hours to better align with the schedules of working homeowners. The plan looks to be promising because it can reduce peak energy times by up to two hours. This is great for non-solar users but creates a problem for solar users wanting to maximize energy at peak hours. This sounds ideal because it shaves 2 hours off the peak charges.
  • Buying solar real estate and selling solar real estate is not complicated and can be expedited with the help of a solar broker. If you are interested in buying a home with an existing solar lease, or if you are wanting to sell your home that is currently grandfathered in, you should consider speaking with a solar broker to make sure that you are able to get the most out of your sale or purchase.

Contact today to learn more about solar APS rebates, SRP rebates, and the APS net metering grandfather clause. Solar Home Specialists of Arizona is your premier solar real estate broker. If you are buying or selling a solar-powered home in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Chandler, Mesa, or the surrounding cities in the Valley, consider Solar Home Specialists for your real estate needs.

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